The Rhode Island Hospitality Association is honoring Rep. Lauren H. Carson (D. Dist – 75, Newport) with its Hospitality Ambassador Award for her leadership in focusing the state’s tourism promotion efforts.

The award is given annually to honor a person who has helped Rhode Island’s hospitality industry, and Representative Carson was chosen for her work establishing and chairing the Special Legislative Commission to Study Methods for Growing Tourism in the State of Rhode Island Through Coordinated Branding and Marketing Efforts.

The commission was organized under legislation sponsored by Representative Carson to study Rhode Island’s tourism industry and make recommendations for cultivating it through statewide coordinated branding and marketing efforts. It is currently working to review the distribution of the hotel tax and to recommend best practices to establish a stable statewide tourism effort that is regularly evaluated to ensure its effectiveness, and held hearings after the Commerce Corporation’s rollout of campaign earlier this year.

“Since being elected to office, Representative Carson has been a champion of the tourism industry,” said Dale J. Venturini, President and CEO of the Rhode Island Hospitality Association. “As chairwoman of a special House Study Commission on Tourism, she understands the importance of this valuable revenue stream and is working diligently on ways to expand tourism through effective branding initiatives.”

Said Representative Carson, “The hospitality industry is absolutely the lifeblood of the economy in my district in Newport. It is my duty but also my pleasure to help advance an industry whose success is so vital to my hometown.”

Upon moving to Newport in 1986, Representative Carson owned and ran a bed and breakfast in Newport, which she sold in 2000.

“I am very familiar with challenges and opportunities in the tourism economy.  Given that experience, I have found it rewarding to reconnect with the tourism industry in Rhode Island and I am glad that I am able to pull from my own experiences to make a contribution to the state marketing and branding initiatives,” Representative Carson said.

The association will present the award to Representative Carson (D-Dist. 75, Newport) at its annual “Stars of the Industry” event, held Nov. 30 beginning at 4 p.m. at Twin River in Lincoln. Tickets are $75 and are available at www.rihospitality.org. Sen. William Walaska (D-Dist. 30, Warwick) is also receiving the award.

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What's Up Newp. He was born and raised in Rhode Island and graduated from Coventry High School. He serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and serves on the Board of Directors for Potter League for Animals. Ryan also is currently the Senior Editor - North America for Mountain News, publisher of OnTheSnow. Ryan is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).